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Constructing learning: adversarial and collaborative working in the British construction industry

Bishop, Dan and Felstead, Alan and Fuller, Alison and Jewson, Nick and Unwin, Lorna and Kakavelakis, Konstantinos (2009) Constructing learning: adversarial and collaborative working in the British construction industry. Journal of Education and Work, 22 (4). pp. 243-260. ISSN 1363-9080

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Abstract

This paper examines two competing systems of work organisation in the British construction industry and their consequences for learning. Under the traditional 'adversarial' system, conflict, hostility and litigation between contractors are commonplace. Such a climate actively militates against collective learning and knowledge sharing between parties. Conversely, under 'collaborative working', contractors share risks, pool knowledge and work together to solve problems at all stages and levels in the productive system - a process conceptualised as 'knotworking' by some theorists. The paper argues that such learning theories fail to take adequately into account the heavy hand of history and the importance of understanding the nature of the productive systems in which 'knotworking' is expected to take root. Both place limits on making 'knotworking' a habitual and commonplace activity in construction.

Item Type: Article
Controlled Keywords: collaborative working, partnering, co-configuration, knotworking, construction, learning, productive systems
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > International and Lifelong Education
IOE Departments > Departments > Lifelong and Comparative Education
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (1)
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2010 15:49
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2014 14:47
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